The world has mourned the death of a Syrian toddler whose lifeless body was found lying face down in the surf near the resort town of Bodrum in Turkey on Wednesday. The picture went viral on social media and sparked an international outcry over the human cost of the ongoing migrant crisis.
The shocking image of the 3-year-old Syrain toddler Aylan is more than enough to show the plight being faced by the refugees. Tens of thousands of people put their lives in danger by sailing into small vessels to cross Mediterranean Sea in search of a better life outside war torn Syria and other countries.
The Islamic State (ISIS) has taken control of huge swathes of territory across northern and eastern Syria, as well as neighbouring Iraq. Its many foreign fighters in Syria are now involved in a "war within a war".
Here are some facts to know about ongoing Syria crisis
- It was started in March 2011 after the arrest and torture of teenage students who wrote revolutionary slogans on a school wall.
- The protest spread after several people were killed when police personnel opened fire on them.
- The unrest turned into nationwide protest seeking President Assad's resignation.
- The full-blown civil war has led to the death of more than 220,000 people. Most of the victims are believed to be civilians.
- Basic necessities like food and medical care services are crippled in the country.
- According to UN report, estimated 7.6 million people are internally displaced bringing the total number forced to flee their homes to more than 11 million. It comprises half the country's pre-crisis population.
- The UN report further adds, 5.6 million children are among 12.2 million people in Syria who are in need of humanitarian assistance.
- Majority of the Syrian refugees have taken shelter in Jordan and Lebanon, where Mercy Corps have been addressing their needs since 2012.
- A report published by the UN in March 2015 estimated the total economic loss since the start of the conflict was $202bn and that four in every five Syrians were now living in poverty - 30% of them in abject poverty.
- Syria's education, health and social welfare systems are also on the verge of collapse.
- In September 2014, a US-led coalition launched air strikes inside Syria in an effort to "degrade and ultimately destroy" ISIS.